Hemp & CBD

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oils vs. CBD Isolates – What’s The Difference?

In recent years, the public profile of CBD has soared with users using it to treat all kinds of conditions and ailments. It can be consumed in several ways, ranging from the simple oral consumption to topical usage and even vaping.

Now, for those just getting into CBD, the terms “CBD isolate” and full-spectrum” might cause confusion. This comprehensive article shall clear the confusion and help you make an informed buying decision.

First, let’s discuss the basics.

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Cannabinoid: What Exactly Is It?

In order to understand how hemp oil products work in your body, you first need to understand the ECS, short for endocannabinoid system, which is a part of the mammalian central nervous system.

All humans (even your furry family members or other animals) have ECS. This is believed to play a crucial role in most bodily functions including sleep, appetite, mood, and even injury mitigation.

So, how do they work?

Generally speaking, ECS can be thought of as the body’s regulatory committee. Whenever things get unbalanced, the ECS steps in to bring order, known as homeostasis.

The body produces chemicals known as endocannabinoids.

The body has 2 networks of cannabinoid receptor:

CB1: Found in connective tissues, organs, gonads, and throughout our nervous system.

CB2: Mostly found through the immune system and its related organs.

Take note, that both receptors can also be found in a broad range of bodily tissues.

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Understanding Phytocannabinoids

Moving on, we have the phytocannabinoids. These are chemicals contained in hemp plants and are somewhat similar to the endocannabinoids produced by our bodies. Thus, they too, have a significant effect on our ECS.

There are over 80 known plant-produced cannabinoids. All of them are known to effectively mimic the endocannabinoids 2-AG and AEA which are produced in our bodies.

These phytocannabinoids are cannabinoid acids which synthesize during production (by a heating process called decarboxylation) into the recognizable compounds such as THC and CBD. Now, let’s move on to the most common plant sources of these phytocannabinoids.

Hemp VS Marijuana: Understanding The Difference

The terms are often used interchangeably. Although marijuana and hemp are both varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant, they are not the same.

Marijuana is usually cultivated as a horticultural crop and has long been thought of as a drug. Hemp, on the other hand, is an agricultural crop and has been used for hundreds of years in various applications such as industrial and household products.

And today’s very popular CBD oil products are also derived from hemp which is grown at an industrial scale, exacting strict specifications to ensure its legality and maximizing the potential healing properties of its cannabinoid profile.

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Legal Talks: Is Cannabis Legal?

That is one complicated question. You see, the legality of cannabis will depend on the plant type in question. For years, federal law has lumped the hemp plant in with other cannabis plants which were outlawed effectively in 1937 under the Marihuana Tax Act then made officially illegal via the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

The US DEA (the United States Drug Enforcement Agency) has designated the marijuana plant as a Schedule 1 substance. Meaning it has no accepted medical use at the moment and has a high potential for abuse. That definition is still up for debate, but until it occurs at a federal level, then expect that all marijuana products are illegal. Read More: Is CBD Oil Legal In All 50 States All You Need to Know!

Technically, it is against federal law to grow marijuana varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant and to ingest or consume any products made using that plant. However, in recent years, many states have already legalized marijuana at various levels, either for recreational or medical use. AS of the first month of 2019, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states while 10 states allow recreational marijuana.

Then, there’s the hemp plant in which growers can now cultivate legally, because of the 2018 Farm Bill. Also known as industrial hemp, this variety of the cannabis Sativa plant can’t contain over 0.3% of THC so that it won’t make you high.

All hemp and CBD oil products are legal to ship to all 50 states thanks to the lower THC levels. However, take note that individual state laws can actually vary, so make sure to check whether it is legal in your state or not. The fully federally legal products include full-spectrum hemp oil products like tinctures, capsules, edibles, salves, and balms.

The Extraction Process

As you know, all CBD products are extracted from the Cannabis plant, usually the hemp variety, using solvents like CO2. During the extraction process, all the terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids are stripped from the plant and then dissolved in oil in order to make it easier to store and administer.

Depending on the final product’s purpose, companies can decide to use a different cannabinoid spectrum, from various strains. Now, what actually happens with the cannabinoids after the first extraction process determines if the extract is full-spectrum or CBD isolate, or the less common choice broad spectrum.

Each term refers to the degree that the product was processed. In this article, we will only focus on two: full-spectrum hemp oil vs CBD isolate.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Defined

This is the product that most people will find when looking for CBD oil. Full-spectrum hemp oil is an extract containing all compounds found naturally occurring in the Cannabis plant including essential oils, terpenes, and other cannabinoids.

The full spectrum of terpenes, cannabinoids, and essential oils extracted from the plant harmoniously work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of each cannabinoid. This is commonly known as the “Entourage Effect”. In the past decades, it was believed that CBD in its isolated form was far effective than full-spectrum hemp oil. In 2005, this theory was debunked by the Jerusalem Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology.

In the study, researchers revealed that the test subjects treated with a full spectrum CBD reported a much higher relief, compared to subjects treated with only CBD isolate.

Additionally, the results showed that a full spectrum CBD offered enhanced effects in higher dosages, while CBD isolates maintained consistent effects even with increased dosages.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil: How Is It Made?

Full-spectrum hemp oil is extracted from the aerial parts of the plant which are the flowers and leaves.

Its production starts with drying the stems, stalks, flowers, and leaves of a fully mature hemp plant. The entire plant is then mashed into a fine powder. Then, using a gentle extraction method, the oil is extracted from the powder.

This process leaves the phytocannabinoids as a whole, ensuring all the potentially-beneficial compounds are delivered in the extracted oil.

Pros and Cons of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

There are several reasons why full-spectrum hemp oil is the preferable option. For one, it features a full combination of all chemical compounds that makes it a potent solution.

Some of the additional cannabinoids in full spectrum extracts include:

  • CBDV (Cannabidivarin)
  • CBG (Cannabigerol)
  • CBN (Cannabinol)
  • CBDA (Cannabidiol acid)
  • CBC (Cannabichromene)

Some of the additional cannabinoids in full spectrum extracts include:

Secondly, it is scientifically proven that cannabidiol works best in synergy with other cannabinoids and terpenes, and partially loses its beneficial properties when isolated. Then there’s the most pleasant benefit: the nice subtle scent of terpenes, which provides full-spectrum hemp oil a better taste and aroma than other extracts. However, terpenes are more than just making your oil smell good.

There are over 200 terpenes in cannabis that also bind to different receptors in your body to offer a wide range of potential health benefits including gastrointestinal issues.

Now, because of the potency and benefits of extracting the entire plant, full-spectrum hemp oils are priced higher than CBD isolate. Plus, it is also more challenging for manufacturers to maintain a consistent ratio, which again increases the overall cost of these oils.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil: Who Is It For?

  • Individuals living in states where the use and consumption of Cannabis is legal
  • Individuals with more severe conditions that CBD isolate can’t alleviate
  • Individuals who were recommended a specific CBD to THC ratio

Tips When Taking Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

In order to get the best effects from full-spectrum hemp oil, you need to select the correct dosage and potency. If you are new to using these products, then it can take time to find the correct amount you need.

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Low Start

You might be eager to take hemp oil to address a chronic or nagging condition, but make sure that you don’t take too much at first.

You will need to start at the lowest dosage possible and then keeping a journal to track how you are feeling with every application or dose.

Since everybody is different, each individual will have different reactions to hemp oils.

Gradual Increase

If the lowest dosage does not seem to be benefitting you, then you can start increasing it. Since it takes some time for these products to build up and affect your ECS, you can raise the dosage amount gradually.

Take the same dose for a few days before you take a higher dosage.

Try A Different Delivery Method

There are various ways to use, consume, or ingest full-spectrum hemp oil, depending on the desired effects.

Full-spectrum hemp oil is typically found in easy to swallow liquid tinctures applied under your tongue with a medicine dropper for easy measurement. They are also available as capsules. Both of these delivery methods allow you to ingest the oil orally where it enters the digestive system and then metabolized by the liver.

In general, CBD oil under the tongue offers a quicker delivery since the constituents of the oil get to bypass your digestive system and liver metabolization. Instead, the oil is directly absorbed into your system so you can experience the benefits of hemp at a much faster rate.

CDB oil can also be added to your favorite drink or food. It is not only an easy way to use hemp oil, but it can also improve how well you absorb CBD. Fatty acids found in some foods can serve as carriers for the compounds, allowing them to move through your body for quicker processing.

Vaping hemp oil is also a great way to ingest or consume full-spectrum hemp oil. Vaping offers you a lung-friendly method for inhaling cannabinoids, allowing it to be absorbed through the large absorptive surface area of the lung before being diffused into your bloodstream.

Then, there’s also the salves, balms, and lotions with hemp oil as the main ingredient. The active ingredients will never enter your bloodstream but rather absorbed into your skin to interact with cells near the surface of your body. Thus, full-spectrum hemp oil topicals are more focused on outer relief and can provide benefits to the health of your skin.

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Consult a Healthcare Professional

The internet is filled with medical information, some factual and some having no scientific basis. To get real answers, there’s no substitute for actually talking to a healthcare professional.

Whatever problem you hope to ease with cannabinoid, a doctor or other medical professional should be able to tell you the doses to take and the most effective delivery method for you.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Potency and Dosage

The potency of hemp oil is categorized into three types. Doctors cannot prescribe full-spectrum hemp oil or other cannabinoids dosage and can only make recommendations based on your symptoms.

Further complicating this issue, there is no universal dosage or recommended daily CBD allowance to act as your guide. There are also different variables including your metabolism, weight, product consistency, and diet that make it even harder to pinpoint the right dose.

This is why recommended that you start with the lowest dosage possible.

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Low Potency: 2.5mg – 15mg per serving

Also called micro-dosing, low doses of hemp oil can be effective for people with active ECS. A small dose every day can be used to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ease health issues.

Medium Potency: 16mg – 33mg per serving

Doubling the low potency dose is effective in most cases. The way your ECS works and the severity of the problem you’re treating will determine how many doses you will need every day.

High Potency: 35mg – 50mg per serving

Research is still underway to see how high-strength doses of hemp oil can be used for various ailments and health problems.

CBD Isolate Defined

Scientifically speaking, an isolate is defined as the purest form of a compound, produced by singularity extracting the said compounds from its environment and completely isolating it from all other compounds.

With that said, a CBD isolate is defined as the purest form of CBD. It is produced by removing all other compounds in the Cannabis plant including flavonoids, terpenes, other cannabinoids, and plant parts.

CBD Isolate: How Is It Made?

In order to get the CBD out of the hemp plant, it will go through an extraction process. From the initial extraction, it must go through a more complex extraction process where several compounds of the hemp plant remain in the extracted oil. The final product is called full spectrum or broad-spectrum hemp oil.

From there, it will again undergo additional processing to remove any residual plant material and the unwanted compounds. After that, the extracted oil goes through a second purification process where any remaining plant material is then filtered out.

After the filtration process, the extracted oil will go through winterization. This process is an alcohol washing,

which involves soaking the CBD extract in alcohol and then freezing it. The process will separate the pure CBD from all other residual products that remain in the CBD oil.

After winterization, the product will undergo several rounds of rotary evaporation to remove any remaining residual material that may still be present in the winterized oil. The extract then undergoes decarboxylation and converted into crystalline powders.

The result? Crystallized pure CBD!

4 Types of CBD Isolate

The versatility of an isolate makes it attractive to CBD users. With isolate, you will find a broad range of products from the pure isolate to a broad variety of products developed with isolate as the star ingredients.

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1) Powder / Crystals

This is the most common form of CBD isolates available on the market. This CBD isolates powder or crystals are created by pulverizing a slab.

2) Slabs

When CBD is processed from a full spectrum extract, the resulting product comes as a slab form. This form is then broken into smaller chunks. IT is preferred by some users since it is easier to vape or dab.

3) Isolate-Based Products

CBD isolate as an ingredient in CBD products is common. Thus, you will find CBD isolate-based products of nearly every type of availability today.

4) Terpsolate

In order to fight the loss of all major cannabis compounds, some companies will often add marijuana or hemp-derived terpenes back into the CBD isolate. The resulting is an aromatic product that also provides additional health benefits thanks to the terpenes.

Pros and Cons of CBD Isolate

One of the main reasons why CBD isolate has become a favorite by some is because of its zero THC.

Although some people think that CBD products do not contain any THC, in most full-spectrum hemp oils, there are still some trace amounts of THC which can be as low as 0.3%.

Although this small THC amount is not enough to make you high, it can show up in your system, which can put you at a disadvantage when undergoing regular drug tests.

CBD isolate is also a great choice for anyone who is sensitive to even the smallest amounts of THC or other cannabinoid compounds. In addition, CBD isolates also have easy-to-measure dosage since there is nothing else to account for aside from the pure crystals.

However, since it only contains, pure CBD compound, CBD isolate can have a weaker effect than full-spectrum hemp oils.

CBD Isolate: Who Is It For?

  • First-time users who may be hesitant about other cannabinoids
  • Individuals with sensitivity to other cannabinoids or THC
  • Individuals who were recommended to take high doses of CBD
  • Individuals who prefer no flavor or light flavors
  • Individuals living in states with strict THC laws
  • Individuals who regularly undergo drug screening tests

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. You should now have a good understanding of the differences between the CBD extract. To summarize it all

Full-spectrum hemp oil contains all compounds found naturally occurring in the hemp plant which includes essential oils, terpenes, and other cannabinoids.

CBD isolate, on the other hand, is the purest form of CBD available.

One type is not better than the other and it will depend on several factors including your medical needs and history, weight, your chemical makeup and so much more.

For some, the pureness and high potency of CBD isolate can do the trick while others can benefit from the all-inclusive effects of full-spectrum hemp oil. Regardless of which you choose, CBD is indeed a vital component in the future of medicine.

Offering dozens of health benefits, CBD has the potential to positively impact the lives of countless people. With consistent research and studies, a healthier and brighter future could be right around the corner.

WE hope that this article proved to be informational and help shed some light on the ever-confusing subject of CBD. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and families!

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